You could hear the crowd’s roar escalate each time a person appeared onstage. But the loudest screaming and most thunderous applause were held for the man every Indian girl dreams about, every guy wishes to idolize and everyone loves. When Shah Rukh Khan–one of India’s finest actors–made his entrance, the crowd went wild.
Bollywood’s (India’s Hollywood) hero, Shah Rukh Khan performed Friday night at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton. Other actors joining him in B4U’s “Wicked” tour were Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla, Sushmita Sen, Namrata Shirodkar and Johny Lever.
In a theme very different from Bollywood movies, each actor’s appearance was showcased by natural elements. Shirodkar, a former Miss India and Bollywood newcomer, appeared first amidst bursts of simulated lighting. Then Sen, a former Miss Universe and up-and-coming actress, took the stage. Her lithe, slim figure flew across the stage, representing an air theme. In Chawla’s water theme appearance, a ripple-like effect occurred on a long sheet draped behind the stage. Dutt erupted from the earth, exemplifying the power he wields in the movies.
Despite these fiery appearances, Khan’s was the topper. As his face appeared onscreen, many teen-agers rushed toward the front of the arena, hoping to catch their first glimpse of Khan. No one was prepared for the sight of him breathing fire on atop a rising crane. Lever, one of India’s most popular comedians, appeared on the stage with little fanfare, but soon had the audience in hysterics with his subtle jibes at Bollywood actors.
The show continued with no disappointments. A sense of intimacy could be felt and a relationship seemed to have forged despite the large venue: Sen thanked her fans for supporting her. Chawla, one of India’s major actresses sang “Pehla Nasha, Pehla Ghuma” from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander.
Khan, the star of Bollywood hits including Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Josh, wowed the audience with his storytelling, comedic remarks, and knowledge of New Jersey. Khan called upon audience members to dance with him onstage. One middle-aged doctor got carried away as she explained to Khan why her children were born nine months apart. Dutt, “India’s Sylvester Stallone,” also called for ladies of the audience to dance with him. Chawla and Khan managed to do a great skit called “Bollywood meets Hollywood,” with Lever playing Steven Spielberg.
With well-choreographed dances, awesome costumes, and talented backup dancers, the show was a “Wicked” success.